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Police: Stepfather Falls Asleep, Suffocates 2-Year-Old Boy After Taking Suboxone

FREEDOM, Pa. (KDKA) -- A Beaver County man is facing charges, accused of suffocating his stepson after falling asleep on top of him on the family couch.

Thirty-eight-year-old Ty Lucente, of Freedom, is facing criminal homicide charges in the death of his 2-year-old stepson.

Freedom Borough Police found the boy unresponsive after being called to a home on 5th Avenue on Saturday afternoon. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Ty Lucente
Ty Lucente (Photo Credit: Facebook)

According to the criminal complaint, Lucente was taking care of the boy, along with three other children, including an infant, a 7-year-old and a 12-year-old. The children's mother left her kids in Lucente's care while she went out to run errands.

"It's my understanding through our interview and investigation that he had obtained suboxone and taken suboxone prior to this," St. Clair said.

Police say Lucente told the officers he had taken suboxone and then fell asleep on the couch in the living room. He said he did not have a subscription for the drug and had "purchased it illegally somewhere in the City of New Castle."

The criminal complaint reports that Lucente said he woke up at one point to attend to the infant, but then fell back asleep and re-awoke when he heard his girlfriend on the phone.

Police say he found the boy underneath him when he woke up.

"The Beaver County detective's bureau and my investigating officer, after they interviewed him, determined that he had fallen asleep on top of the child and woke up, finding the child underneath him," Freedom Police Chief Eugene St. Clair said.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the boy, but were unsuccessful.

"Everyone [who] has children ... you just have to be, of course, more diligent, you know, in where you're laying your child down to sleep. Instead of laying your child down to sleep in bed with you or on a couch with you, place them in the appropriate crib or whatever it may be," St. Clair said.

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